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Why work with an area Real Estate Expert?

by Carla Griffin on June 2, 2011

Having a good relationship with your real estate agent can make the difference between a smooth transaction and a mess. If you’re making a cross-town or a move to a neighboring community, your agent may be a good choice if the agent specializes in the area where you’ll be selling and not necessarily the one that you want to represent you in the purchase.

Sometimes, agents who do multiple transactions with clients offer a break on the commission to ensure your repeat business. However, the possibility of a modest savings shouldn’t blind you to pitfalls of working with an agent who is unfamiliar with the territory.

Your buying agent needs to have extensive knowledge of local pricing to accurately advise you about the current market. As a buyer you could offer too much or too little if your agent isn’t up on prices in the area.

Neighborhoods next door to one another can have very different pricing structures. As multiple listing services (MLSs) coalesce into larger entities, out-of-area agents have access to listing information for communities far afield from where they specialize. There is more to accurate pricing than simply analyzing data from the MLS, especially in areas that have a lot of variability in the housing market. For example, a two- bedroom, two-bath villa in one area of the Villages Golf & Country Club, might sell for $200,000 while a similar sized villa in the adjacent village, would likely sell for $350,000.

Offers written by out-of-area agents frequently reflect lack of knowledge about local custom, such as whether the buyer or seller pays fees like title insurance and transfer taxes. Another area of concern in a niche market like the over 55 communities, is the rental restrictions, number of people living in the villa, age of residents and an in-depth understanding of what is included in the Association Fees.

The best bet is to ask your out-of-area agent to find an agent for you who has expertise in the new area, and who has a work ethic and style you’ll appreciate.

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